ELDEN TITUS: THE ROCKET CAR !
ELDEN TITUS WAS NOT ONLY A GREAT VISIONARY & BUILDER of some of the most unique cars that have ever been seen, but he was also my friend. For the last 2 or 3 years of his life he battled what John Wayne called "The Big C"...cancer. Sadly, he lost that battle October 8th, 2008.
In the final year of his life, Elden was putting together his latest masterpiece: The Vibrasonic. We had first talked about the concept of that car in 2006 when he and George Barris became partners in putting that Super Kustom Rod together; in 2007 Car Kulture DeLuxe Magazine signed on to feature the build-up of The Vibrasonic, and in early 2008 that car was well underway...with Elden outdoing himself on its construction day-by-day.
And so it was that at Darryl Starbird's 44th Annual Tulsa Autorama that Elden & I had what turned out to be our last Interview:
It was a rainy day, February 15th, 2008, we had talked mostly about The Vibrasonic, and at the close of the Interview, knowing that Elden was always planning his "next car" even before the one he was currently working on was finished, I asked El what future project he might have in mind. He didn't disappoint me !
Elden talked about building another "dream kustom": A Rocket Car, to be tentatively titled "The Rocket Sled" ! A jet-packed journey "back to the fifties" !! I also knew that El was meticulous about making a model of what he was going to build, so I asked him if that would be the case with this one too, and he said yes, this one would be based on the F-104 Star Fighter Jet from 1954.
ELDEN TITUS always came at you with a big smile, a warm handshake, and a "Kustoms Forever" motto that will live on with all who knew him. He also had a great laugh that was just SO genuine & infectious, that when I put this part of the Interview together, I decided to leave the "sound check" at the beginning of the Interview in so you could appreciate it and hear it for yourself.
(SPECIAL NOTE: This part of the Interview is brief, but it's the last time Elden & I were able to record anything. These are the last recorded thoughts that I have from El and I wanted to share them with you.)
Thanks again, El. You are always with us. And, you were always right: "Profile Is Everything" ! JK
(Top of Page: 1964 GM-X 1964 Stiletto; Above: Some "Rocket Cars" of the 50's ! Top: The Ford FX-Atmos; Unknown "streetable" Rocket Car; The 1959 Cadillac Cyclone )
(Above left: 1956 Oldsmobile Golden Rocket; Above right: The original Oldsmobile "Rocket 88" circa 1950)
(Above: Donald Weddell's Rocket Car Concept)
(Above Left & Right: The F-104 Star Fighter Elden wanted to base his "Rocket Sled" on )
NOTE: All photos on this page courtesy of their original owners/copyright holders. Many thanks !